Harjavalta is a city in Finland, located in the province of Satakunta. The municipality is home to 6,948 people and covers an area of 127.74 km2, of which 4.28 km2 are water bodies. The population density is 56.28 inhabitants / km2. Harjavalta became a town in 1968 and a town in 1977.

The neighboring municipalities of Harjavalta are Eura, Kokemäki, Nakkila and Ulvila.


The powerful Kokemäenjoki River, which is Finland's fourth largest water body, flows through Harjavalta. In Pirilänkoski, Lammainen, on the Nakkila border, there is a power plant completed in 1939. The power plant dam widens into a lake-like one near the town of Kokemäenjoki. The terrain in Harjavalta is mostly flat pine fabric. Here to make an exception only river in the northern side of the rock formations and the city's southern edge located Hiittenharju. There are also clay soils in the direction of Hiirijärvi.

Even in the Stone Age, the Kokemäenjoki valley was below sea level. As a result of land uplift, the estuary of the river progressed to the northwest and reached the border of Harjavalta before 2000 BC. The landing was rapid and the Lammiinen rapids rose from the sea as early as 1500 BC. and the Kokemäenjoki estuary was formed on a field plateau below the rapids in 500 BC. since.

Background of the name of Harjavalta
The history of the name Harjavalta has been studied by Professor E. N. Setälä in the 1910s, among others, and Professor Viljo Nissilä, who later conducted a nomenclature study. In the documents of the Turku Cathedral from the 15th century, the name appears in several spellings, including Harianwalta, Hariawalta, Hariaualdastha ('Harjavalta'), Harianwaltha and Harianwaltaby. The source of the name is supposed to be the Germanic name * Harjawaldaz, the leader of the army, who would be the compound of the supposed Germanic words * harjaz and * waldą. The earliest and most accurately known occurrence of the name in terms of reconstruction is from the beginning of time from Tacitus in the form Chariovalda.

Based on the history of the name, one can guess that a person named Harjavalda or even a military leader can live or work in the Harjavalta region. Carl-Erik Thors, a professor at the University of Helsinki, believes that the basic form of the name was borrowed in the Nordic countries around 300-700s, and the name may not prove that the holder of the name lived in Satakunta, but may have come from Scandinavia. Known variations of the name include, for example, Harald, Hérault, and Harold. However, modern forms of the name that are more precise than the brush power are not known in the world.

Alternative etymologies have also been proposed. Although Jorma Koivulehto rejects the interpretation and prefers the Germanic interpretation, he considers the possibility of interpreting the word to consist of the parts Harju and the administrative area. The southwesternmost village of the historic Harjavalta in Ingermanland is located on a sandy ridge between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Harjavalta, and the municipality means the municipality in Estonia. Thus, even in Satakunta, the name may have meant the place of residence and administrative area located on the ridge of the hill, or Hiittenharju. There are six Harjunkylä in Finland, the nearest of which is located next to Säkylänharju, 45 kilometers south of Harjavalta. The word Harju is a very common part of Finnish place names. In Estonian, Harju is Hari. In this etymology, the use of the word power in the Estonian sense, which is not known from the Finnish language, is questionable.

According to Aimo Hakanen, who wrote the name in the Finnish place name book in 2007, the current prevailing notion of the origin of the name is that the name is based on the Cantagerman man-occupation Harja-walða, which was first adopted as a personal name and changed from here to a place name. According to linguist Mikko Heikkilä, it is in Finnish that the words of the Cantabrian language have remained more original than in the gemini languages ​​themselves. Thus, for example, the reconstructed phrase of the canter of the German * Harjawaldaz Királyaz Rīkaz, wīsaz jah hurskaz 'is repeated almost the same in the Finnish phrase rich, wise and pious King Harjavalta.

The birth of the settlement
The Harjavalta region has been inhabited since the Iron Age. Signs of the earliest settlement are around 1500 BC. from around.

The first historical information about Harjavalta can be found in church and district documents. The inhabitants of Harjavalta were naturally “experienced” and often emigrated from the upper reaches. The situation changed in the Middle Ages, when the population increased in Ulvila and Nakkila and the activity of merchants and churchmen increased. Often, with the help of royal letters, ownership and enjoyment rights were changed and new facilities were created in the area as a result. By the king's decision in 1348, the Kokemäenniemi or Lammainen fishing farm was transferred from the experienced people to the owners of the beach. At that time, the inhabitants of the region were in Pirilä, Niuttala, Pirkkala and Vinnais.


From the Chapel Congregation to an independent municipality
The administrative and church administrators of the Kokemäki region corresponded to each other already in the Middle Ages, so the Harjavalta area belonged to both the Kokemäki parish and the namesake circle. In 1670, the villages of Harjavalta formed their own chapel parish. The status of an independent congregation began to be sought about 200 years later. One of the signatories of the petition addressed to the Judicial Chapter was P. W. Gallén, father of Akseli Gallén-Kallela. Harjavalta's application for its own pastor was granted in 1868, and the decision was implemented in 1878. The new independent parish had about 1,600 members.

In the Middle Ages, the so-called Harjavalta and Nakkila area began. support fishing in the Kokemäenjoki. Obstacles like shore dams, ie salmon and whitefish dams, were built there. Fishing was important to the region’s own food industry, but most of the fish catch went on sale.

The village of Torttila was a marketplace for some years in the 18th century. As a result of a dispute over the marketplace, Merikarvia 's market was transferred to Torttila in 1761, but was returned to Merikarvia in 1765.

The great famine years in the 1860s doubled mortality, but on the scale of Finland as a whole, Harjavalta did little to escape this ordeal. The Act of 1865 on the Municipal Government led to the formation of the Municipal Council and the Municipal Government also in Harjavalta in 1869. This is considered to be the year of birth of the Municipality of Harjavalta.

A journey into an industrial community
The first efforts of the independent congregation were to build their own church in 1870. Soon the primary school was also being built in the municipality. After many stages, the first elementary school teacher was hired in Harjavalta in 1880. His own school building was acquired in 1885, when the municipality bought a farm in Crete, the main building of which became Harjavalta's first elementary school. The loan library was founded in Harjavalta as early as 1863. The library operated in the sacristy of the church for a long time. From there it passed to a school in Crete.

The first store in Harjavalta was founded in a church village in 1874. A second store soon opened in the village of Merstola. The main sales products were salt, coffee and sugar, but the selections also included fabrics, wheat flour, licorice and tobacco.

In Harjavalta, the 1890s brought many reforms to transport and communications. A railway was built from Tampere to Pori and the first train came to Harjavalta in March 1895. The railway station was originally located in Merstola, but it was moved to the church village in 1951. The current station building was completed the following year. The original railway station in Merstola was burned down during the Civil War in 1918 and a new station building to replace it was demolished after it was taken into use in the late 1980s. The telephone line to Pori and Kokemäki was completed in 1892. Initially, the telephone was acquired for nine houses. A separate telephone company was established in Harjavalta in 1907. The post office was established in Merstola in 1893. Postal traffic began to pick up, especially from the 1920s. Post offices were later also established in Satalinna (1929) and the church village (1948).

The Kokemäenjoki river was crossed in summer by a reef bridge, in winter by ferry. A fixed suspension bridge was built in 1912. The bridge suffered major damage during the Finnish Civil War in 1918. However, it was repaired as before. The construction of the Harjavalta power plant in 1937–1939 caused the water level of the river to rise, which required the construction of a new bridge. This second suspension bridge was demolished in the 1980s. The Harjavalta bridge, completed in 1983, is thus the third in the locality.

The Harjavalta industry took its first steps when a threshing machine factory was established in the municipality in 1901. The factory was successful and one of its employees, Uuno Mattson, established his own factory in 1929, the Harjavalta wood industry, which manufactured furniture. The wood and metal industries were Harjavalta's most significant industry before the Second World War. The sawmill industry had started in 1897 with a water saw. Harjavallan Höyrysaha Oy was founded in the 1910s. Soon there were several small sawmills in the municipality. The larger sawmill Osakeyhtiö Harjavalta initially manufactured threshing machines. Founded in 1920, the company soon switched to sawn timber manufacturing. The Nieminen foundry was started in 1928. B. Lindholm founded a machine shop in the 1920s, teacher Marttila a little later.


Large-scale industry was born as a result of wars. The copper plant moved from Imatra to Harjavalta in 1944–1945. A sulfuric acid plant was established to utilize sulfur dioxide gas generated by the copper smelter. These changes had a strong impact on the region's industries. In 1940, 46% of the population still worked in agriculture, but in 1950 the figure was only 18%. At the same time, the share of industry and handicrafts rose from 11% to 47%. Large-scale industry also grew strongly in the trade sector. New shops were set up at a rapid pace, and at the same time the share of services as an employer of the population increased.

The population remained at around 1,700 for several decades. Harjavalta was a displacement loss at least from the 19th century until Finland's independence in 1917. The emergence of small-scale industry led to faster population growth from the 1920s onwards. The population of the municipality doubled during the 1940s, so that in 1950 there were already 5,900 inhabitants.

The Defense Forces Weapons School was located in Harjavalta before moving to Kuopio in 1963.

On 15 December 2008, the Harjavalta City Council decided on a municipal association with Nakkila, Ulvila and Kokemäki. However, the connection project (the so-called Ribbon City) failed after Ulvila withdrew from the project.